I’ve always loved to read and with business school ending this year I got some free time to read for pleasure. My favorite genres are autobiography and adventure. Here are a few books I read and what they meant to me.
Salt In My Soul: An Unfinished Life by Mallory Smith
Salt In My Soul is the story of Mallory Smith, a woman who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 3. Mallory shares her quest to live a normal life while battling the brutal disease that is often invisible to the naked eye. The book is in journal form and follows Mallory’s life from age 15 to her death at age 25. This book was moving because Mallory was so open with her life from questions about death to vulnerability with love. I got teary at the end but admired her family’s strength. All profits for the book are being donated with a majority of the funds going toward cystic fibrosis research. Special thanks to my friend Tamara Stone for introducing me to Mallory’s story!
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Nike has always been one of my favorite companies, but I never knew the story of the company’s early beginnings. Shoe Dog shows us how Nike went from Oregon startup to global empire. I was amazed not only by the detail of Nike’s founder’s account of the company’s early days but with his grit. Many times, Nike almost failed; many times he gambled it all. Netflix is set to create a movie based on Shoe Dog.
We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
I’ve never met Gabrielle Union but when I listened to her audiobook it felt like she was sitting across from me telling me her story. The audiobook is read by Union and her book is written with such frankness and humor. It felt like an older sister sharing her scars and strength.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
This novel is beautifully written and allowed my imagination to travel to the Italian Riviera for an unforgettable love story. The romance between a teenager and a guest at his parents’ house is raw and passionate. There was a movie adapted from the novel but I’ve yet to see it; the book was so good I don’t want to ruin it!
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
I one day hope to work in the world of entertainment production so tracing the steps of the powerhouse behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder was great. Shonda is a self-described introvert who for one year decided to say yes to everything that scared her. The great opportunities she accepted and things she learned about herself were truly inspiring.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
There was a lot of hype around this book so I thought I’d check it out. I appreciated the level of detail Tartt used when describing the famous painting and art in general. The nearly 800-page novel spanned several years and countries. I appreciated an unpredictable ending and an imperfect narrator.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Tiny Fey is funny and a great comedic writer so it’s no surprise her autobiographical book is hilarious. Tina takes us from her early days in Pennsylvania to helming 30 Rock at NBC. Along the way we see how Tina survived college, landed her first job, and manages motherhood.
It was great to get back to reading at such a high volume and I look forward to tackling more books in 2020!
Hi! I'm Marilyn!